How long does Indian takeaway last in the fridge?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long does Indian takeaway last in the fridge?”, and how to reheat a takeaway curry?

How long does Indian takeaway last in the fridge?

Indian takeaway curry lasts about 3-51-2 days in the fridge. If frozen, you can keep the Indian takeaway curry for up to 61 months (1). 

Depending upon the ingredients, an Indian takeaway may last up to 5 days in the fridge but is best consumed within 1-2 days. Defrost the curry by leaving it in the fridge overnight. 

A recent UK study found that 27% of adults and 19% of children consumed meals outside the home once per week or more and 21% of adults and children ate takeaway meals at home once per week or more. Similar consumption patterns are common in other high-income and urban societies; particularly those in Europe, the USA and Australia. Studies found that more than 50% of US adults reported consuming three or more out-of-home meals per week and more than 35% reported consuming two or more fast food meals per week (3).

How to reheat a takeaway curry?

You can reheat a takeaway curry in a microwave, an oven, or on a stovetop. If you opt for the microwave method, pour your takeaway curry in a microwave-safe dish or bowl and microwave on high for about 5 minutes. Stir the sauce after every 1 minute to ensure that the curry heats evenly. Once cooked meat or poultry and side dishes thaw, plan to eat them within 3 to 4 days (1).

If you opt for the oven method, preheat your oven to 130℃. Place the curry into an ocean-safe dish and cook the curry in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Make sure the curry reaches an internal safe temperature of 82℃. Use a stick thermometer to correctly gauge the temperature.

If you opt for the stovetop method, pour the curry into a non-stick pan and warm over medium-low heat. Serve when the curry is heated through. 

Can you reheat Curry and Rice?

You can safely reheat a curry but reheating rice is not the best choice. It is not recommended to reheat rice for food safety purposes. 

Raw rice contains dormant spores of the pathogenic Bacillus cereus. These bacteria get a chance to grow during storage or reheating to produce dangerous gastrointestinal toxins. These toxins are not destroyed by cooking temperatures and lead to food poisoning when ingested. 

More than 30 separate incidents of food poisoning outbreaks associated with cooked rice (usually fried) from Chinese restaurants or ‘take away’ shops have been reported in Great Britain since 1971. In London more than 40 incidences of food-poisoning, associated with the consumption of cooked rice, usually from Chinese restaurants and “take-away” shops, were reported where all of these cases were attributed to B. cereus (2).

In most of the cases of food-borne outbreaks comes from Chinese restaurants or takeaway shops which leave the boiled rice to dry off at room temperature. The predominance of cases in these types of restaurants is linked with the common practice of saving portions of boiled rice from bulk cooking. The boiled rice is then stored, usually at room temperature, overnight and these conditions support the growth of bacteria. Similarly in takeaway shops, the ready-to-eat foods are usually kept at room temperature which causes germination and multiplication of B. cereus (2).

How to reheat Curry and Rice?

Your best bet is to always cook fresh rice and reheat your frozen or refrigerated curry using the above-mentioned methods. Invest in a rice cooker if you want your rice to turn out perfect every time.

However, the bacteria as well as their toxin can be destroyed. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), there are some good suggestions to destroy B. cereus for example (2):

  • Steaming under pressure, roasting, frying and grilling foods can destroy the vegetative cells and spores.
  • Foods infested with the diarrheal toxin can be inactivated by heating for 5 min at 133 °F.
  • Foods infested with the emetic toxin need to be heated to 259 °F for more than 90 min. Reheating foods until they are steaming is not enough to kill the emetic toxin.

How can you tell if the curry has gone bad? 

Once you have reheated your curry, rub a small amount of curry between the tip of your index finger and thumb. Then slowly separate your fingers. If you see any slimy thread forming between your fingers, the curry is done for.

Microbial spoilage is by far the most common cause of spoilage and may manifest itself as visible growth (slime, colonies), as textural changes (degradation of polymers) or as off-odors and off-flavors (4).

How long does Chinese takeaway last in the fridge? 

Chinese takeaway does not last for more than 2-3 days in the fridge. This only applies if the takeaway was not left on the counter for too long (1). 

What can you do with leftover Indian food?

You can use your leftover Indian curry to make a variety of other Indian dishes. For example, you can cook pasta sauce, Kathi rolls or wraps, Savory pie, Quesadillas, Pizza, Puff pastry pinwheels, Pulled sandwiches or sliders, and tacos, etc. 

How long does butter chicken last in the fridge?

If stored correctly in an air-tight container, butter chicken lasts up to 4 days in the fridge (5).

How long can Rasam be stored in the fridge?

Basically, Rasam is prepared with tamarind and pepper corn as the base, beside many varieties of Rasam are prepared acquiring its name from the chief ingredient used for preparation, for example tomato Rasam, lemon Rasam. Rasam can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days (6). Rasam also freezes well and can be safely kept in the freezer for up to a month.

How long does dal last in the fridge?

Dhal is popular because dehulling pigeon pea greatly reduces its cooking time and improves the appearance, texture, palatability, digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients of the grain. The cooking process not only improves the palatability of pigeon pea but it destroys or minimizes some antinutritional factors (8). If stored correctly, dal lasts about 3-45-6 days in the fridge (5). To make the dal last longer, let it come to room temperature before refrigerating and store it within 2 hours of cooking.

How long does sambar last in the fridge?

Sambar stays good in the fridge for 2-4 days if kept at a constant temperature of 4 degrees or below. To make the sambar last longer, make sure you store it within 2 hours of cooking and let it come to room temperature before you pack it away (5).

How long does Khichdi last in the fridge?

Khichdi is a dish from the Indian subcontinent made with a mixture of rice and lentils which is loaded with wholesome goodness, easy to digest and free of gluten. It is a salty porridge and a comfort food, owing to the convenience of being able to cook in a single simmering pot (7). If stored correctly, Kichadi lasts 2-3 days in the fridge (5). But it is best consumed within 1 day of storage. Kichadi is a well-known food in the Ayurveda due to its amazing cleansing properties and immense nutritional benefits. It is a combination of grains, usually rice and mung bean, that have various spices added to them for improved flavor. 

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

Can I use garam masala instead of curry paste?

Can I use cumin instead of curry powder?

Can you add spices to curry after cooking?


In this article, we answered the question “How long does Indian takeaway last in the fridge?”, and how to reheat a takeaway curry?


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  2. Tewari, Anita, and Swaid Abdullah. Bacillus cereus food poisoning: international and Indian perspective. J food sci technol, 2015, 52, 2500-2511.
  3. Janssen, Hayley G., et al. Determinants of takeaway and fast food consumption: a narrative review. Nutr res rev, 2018, 31, 16-34.
  4. Pushparajan, N., D. Varadharajan, and P. Soundarapandian. Microbial studies of prepared curries stored in tin free steel cans. J Food Process Technol, 2013, 4, 1000238.
  5. Leftovers and Food Safety. US Department of Agriculture. 2020.
  6. Vijayalakshmi S, Arun A, Kanchana Arun. A Study On Standardization And Assessment Of Sensory And Microbiological Quality Of Herbal Rasam. Asian J Pharm Clin Res, 2017, 8, 270-273.
  7. Khandekar, S. P., R. C. Ranveer, and A. K. Sahoo. Development of ready to cook vegetable khichadi mix by microwave drying technology. J Postharv Technol, 2020, 8, 1-8.
  8. Jafri M, Jha A, Rasane P, Sharma N. Development of a process for the manufacture of shelf stable dhal and its physico-chemical properties. J Food Sci Technol. 2015, 52, 5709-5717.